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Your Eyes Are Precious, Magnificent, Incomparable - Protect Them

It probably doesn’t need stressing: we all treasure our vision. It is the primary way for us to experience the world, and hardly anyone can imagine their lives without their vision. The eyes are a magnificent piece of natural engineering, incomparable even to the most advanced mechanical lens in the market. And just as you would take care of an expensive, state of the art camera lens, so should you take care of your eyes.

There are many myths surrounding what causes eye damage or blindness. Some of the most popular ones are:

·         Squinting can cause vision problems – this is simply the eyes letting in less light, or focusing the vision. Squinting when done regularly though, can cause wrinkles around your eyes.

·         Reading in poor light can damage the eyes – this causes some strain on the eyes but not permanent damage.

·         Sitting too close to the computer or TV – again this might cause some strain but not permanent damage. A good exercise when sitting in front of the computer for long periods is to consciously blink to lubricate the eyes, and to take regular breaks from staring into the screen, and looking out at the distance for a few minutes.

The good news for adults aged 20 to 40 years old is that this is the time period wherein the eye conditions are considered stable. Some people who had vision problems from their younger years will usually make the decision during this period to undergo corrective surgery such as LASIK to correct their vision problems i.e. myopia (shortsightedness), astigmatism (blurry vision from misshaped cornea or lens), or hyperopia (farsightedness).

Adults with no problems in vision will usually only need to see their ophthalmologist once a decade. However, they would be advised to seek the help of a professional at the first sign of vision change, spots appearing in their vision, an excessive amount of “eye floaters”, changes in the field of vision, changes in the way color is seen, and physical changes in the eyes.

As people get into their advanced years (over 40 years old) age can take its toll on eye health. People around this age are advised to get a comprehensive eye exam at least once every couple of years to prevent diseases from getting worse. Some of these diseases include glaucoma, or early formation of cataracts.

To protect the eyes while still young take note of the following tips:

·         Keep the eyes protected from the sun. When outside, wear a hat and/or sunglasses to keep harmful UV rays from the sun. Studies have shown that UV rays is a contributor in developing age related macular degeneration, one of the most common causes of severe vision loss.

·         Diet is also important to good vision. Although stocking up in carrots will not actually improve your vision, it can help maintain the health of your eyes. Foods high in vitamin A such as carrots and squash can help keep the eyes healthy as well as foods that contain high amounts of lutein, including spinach, broccoli and egg yolks. Lutein helps in keeping the macula healthy.

·         Consult with your doctor at the first sign of eye-related concerns.